KnowledgeVision Reinvents the Webinar; Tests Innovative “Instant Webinar” Format

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A new joint Instant Webinar from DemandGen Report and KnowledgeVision begins to address the inherent weaknesses of the traditional webinar format, by combining an immediately available rich, interactive on-demand video presentation experience with a live follow-up session on May 23, 2012: “Think Outside the Frame: How to Repurpose Content into Interactive Video”

Reinvent the Webinar Screen shot - Instant Webinar from KnowledgeVision

Screen shot of the Instant Webinar, featuring KnowledgeVision CEO Michael Kolowich (left) and DemandGen Report Publisher Andrew Gaffney

It's time to take a good hard look at the tried-and-true 60-minute live webinar formula and ask, "Can we do better?"

The instant webinar is an important first step to dramatically improving a webinar format in danger of falling behind the times.

In January, 2012, KnowledgeVision CEO Michael Kolowich called on the community of content marketers to reinvent the webinar for the new year. And now he’s taken the first steps to make that happen, by co-hosting a new “Instant Webinar” with DemandGen Report.

“Traditional webinars just aren’t working as well as they once did,” wrote Kolowich in a January Content Marketing Institute article (“How Content Marketers Can Reinvent the Webinar for 2012”). He noted a slow but steady decline in sign-ups and attendance rates reported by several major webinar producers. “It’s time to take a good hard look at the tried-and-true 60-minute live webinar formula and ask, ‘Can we do better?’.”

Among the specific problems Kolowich identified were:

--Webinars have a personality problem -- Since most webinars are simply audio-narrated slides, they lack the kind of personality and energy that a video webcast can bring, in which the presenters can bring their facial expressions, gestures, and props to the communication experience. (“In the era of web video, it’s silly that we’re stuck in an audio-only format,” says Kolowich.)

--Webinars have a scheduling problem -- Since most webinars are scheduled for a specific date and time (often 2-3 weeks in the future), prospective attendees may run into scheduling conflicts and often need to wait weeks to get details on a subject that piques their interest. (Says Kolowich, “In an age of just-in-time knowledge, why should we make viewers wait that long for vital information?”)

--Webinars have a length problem -- 60 minutes is the standard, whether a subject can sustain it or not. (“The basic points can be conveyed in a fraction of the time of a normal webinar,” Kolowich observes. “When we ask for a one-hour block, it often feels like we need to stretch the material to fill that block.”)

--Webinars have an engagement problem -- They are often one-dimensional, passive events, with little audience involvement until a short Q&A session near the end. (“We should be offering an immersive experience,” says Kolowich. “We should give them opportunities to drill down into more detail, download reference material on the spot, and offer them concrete examples they can click to and examine.”)

KnowledgeVision collaborated with a prominent B2B marketing content publisher, DemandGen Report, to create a new format called the “Instant Webinar,” and rolled out the first experiment with reinventing the webinar this week. The webinar, “Think Outside the Frame: How to Repurpose Content into Interactive Video”, features DemandGen Report publisher Andrew Gaffney and KnowledgeVision CEO Michael Kolowich, and is now available in two parts:

--Part One may be watched immediately by those who sign up; and

--Part Two will be an interactive Q&A session with Gaffney and Kolowich on Wednesday, May 23, 2012, at 1pm Eastern Time.

View the instant webinar: "Think Outside the Frame: How to Repurpose Content into Interactive Video"

The on-demand Part One of the webinar is created and hosted on the KnowledgeVision online video presentation platform, and takes full advantage of KnowledgeVision’s ability to synchronize video, presentation slides, live web pages, footnotes and reference links, and even a searchable transcript together into a complete experience that may be controlled by the viewer.

“We feel this new webinar format provides critical new benefits to webinar attendees and sponsors,” said DemandGen Report’s Andrew Gaffney. “The rich media experience delivered by the KnowledgeVision platform makes the webinar much more interactive for viewers; and it’s available at exactly the moment the attendee expresses enough interest in the topic to sign up. This dramatically accelerates both the learning for the visitor and the lead generation process for the sponsor.”

“This is all part of a grand experiment,” says Kolowich. “We will certainly refine it over time. This is an important first step, though, to dramatically improving a webinar format that is in danger of falling behind the times.”

About KnowledgeVision Systems

KnowledgeVision is single-mindedly focused on making online video work harder:
--to make it perform better as a content marketing tool;
--to make it more impactful as a sales tool;
--to make it more engaging as a learning tool; and
--to make it more effective as a corporate communications tool.

Clients all over the world use KnowledgeVision’s tools to create orchestrated online video and audio presentations that combine their best communicators with PowerPoint slides, web pages and applications and supplemental material, and make them available from web browsers and mobile devices anytime, anywhere.

KnowledgeVision is a venture-backed company based in Lincoln, Massachusetts.

About DemandGen Report

DemandGen Report (DGR) is a targeted e-media publication spotlighting the strategies and solutions that help Business-2-Business (B2B) companies better align sales, marketing and disparate teams to support growth and drive revenue. DGR content and news coverage focuses on the sales and marketing automation tools that enable companies to better measure and manage multichannel demand generation efforts. DemandGen Report is the only information source directly focused on this rapidly emerging business discipline.

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Michael Kolowich
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